Dutch Leonard (right-handed pitcher)

Emil John "Dutch" Leonard (March 25, 1909 – April 17, 1983) was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a right-handed knuckleball pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1933–1936), Washington Senators (1938–1946), Philadelphia Phillies (1947–48), and Chicago Cubs (1949–1953). He was born in Auburn, Illinois.

Dutch Leonard
Dutch Leonard 1948.jpeg
Born: (1909-03-25)March 25, 1909
Auburn, Illinois
Died: April 17, 1983(1983-04-17) (aged 74)
Springfield, Illinois
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 31, 1933, for the Brooklyn Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
September 25, 1953, for the Chicago Cubs
MLB statistics
Win–loss record191–181
Earned run average3.25
Career highlights and awards

In a 20-season career, Leonard posted a 191–181 win–loss record with 1170 strikeouts and a 3.25 earned run average in ​3218 13 innings pitched. He was a six-time All-Star selection, and became the pitching coach of the Cubs immediately after his playing career ended (1954–56).

On July 4, 1939, Leonard pitched a complete game and the Senators defeated the New York Yankees in the first game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. At the conclusion of the first game, Lou Gehrig delivered his famous "luckiest man on the face of the earth" speech.

During the 1945 season, Leonard was part of what was possibly the only four-man rotation in baseball history to have been all knuckleball pitchers. Reportedly, after facing Leonard, Jackie Robinson once said: "I am glad of one thing, and that is I don't have to hit against Dutch Leonard every day. Man, what a knuckleball that fellow has. It comes up, makes a face at you, then runs away."[1]

In the 2013 biographical movie about Robinson, 42, former MLB pitcher C. J. Nitkowski plays the role of Leonard pitching against Robinson.[2][3]

Leonard's nickname 'Dutch' was also taken in his honor by crime novelist Elmore Leonard, and was tattooed as such during his time in the SeaBees.[4]

Although his nickname suggests otherwise, Leonard was of Belgian descent.[5] Leonard died in Springfield, Illinois at age of 74.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "CONTRARY GUY ALTERNATIVE BASEBALL THOUGHTS". Contrary Guy. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  2. ^ Kepner, Tyler. "EXTRA BASES Bound for Big Screen, and Maybe Majors". The New York Times. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  3. ^ "42 (2013)". IMDB.com. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  4. ^ "Podcast: TSOYA: Elmore Leonard". March 7, 2007.
  5. ^ "United States Census, 1910, Amial Leonard in household of S Ammual Leanard, Auburn Ward 1, Sangamon, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 111, sheet 8A, family 19, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,374,337". FamilySearch. Retrieved October 14, 2015.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Charlie Root
Chicago Cubs pitching coach
Succeeded by
Freddie Fitzsimmons